U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump has been on record since 2015 with a stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and recently reiterated that position during his campaign for president. Political analysts said on Nov. 9 that the TPP is unlikely to see a vote in the lame duck session. With the election of Trump they believe the TPP agreement will not move forward.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is urging members of Congress to prioritize and pass the TPP agreement, thus allowing the U.S., and the soybean industry, to better participate in the global economy.
“TPP passage is vital to farmers across the country, as well as the processors and exporters that take U.S. soybeans to markets around the world,” said Richard Wilkins, president of the ASA.
With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., passage of the TPP will open new global markets and is projected to boost farm exports by $4.4 billion each year, the ASA said.
“Farmers support the improved access to foreign markets through TPP, and welcome the potential for expanded soybean exports in the forms of oil and feed,” Wilkins said. “Overall, TPP has the power to create jobs at home, boost the farm economy and explore foreign markets.”
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) also urged Congress to consider including TPP in its agenda.
“Congress still has important work to do yet this year,” said Wesley Spurlock, president of the NCGA. “We urge Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership when they return to Washington next month. TPP is the one thing Congress can do right now to increase farm income, generate economic activity, and promote job growth. Campaign rhetoric has set America’s trade agenda back years. Let’s take a big step back in the right direction and pass TPP.”
The ASA also stressed the importance of collaboration on trade between the agriculture industry and Trump’s administration.
“We look forward as well to a constructive discussion on President-Elect Trump’s stance on trade,” said Ron Moore, vice-president of the ASA. “It is impossible to overstate the importance of trade — and specifically of the Chinese market — to American soybean farmers. Similarly, our export markets in North America and Southeast Asia are extraordinarily important trading partners. We export half of all soy grown in the U.S. One in four rows of beans goes to China, and Mexico is our second-largest market. We are eager to work together to illustrate how critical an aggressive trade agenda is for soybean farmers.”
Trump was applauded by some ag groups for his pro-farmer stance on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“The president-elect repeatedly expressed strong support for ethanol, generally, and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), specifically, on the campaign trail,” said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “He understands the importance of clean, domestic energy resources and the economic power of value-added agriculture. We are confident Trump will continue to support the expanded production and use of fuel ethanol. Moreover, the president-elect is committed to removing regulatory barriers that impede growth. We look forward to working with a Trump administration to remove unnecessary volatility restrictions that have discouraged market acceptance of higher level ethanol blends like E15 and created unreasonable administrative burdens on gasoline marketers willing to offer these fuels to consumers.”
On Nov. 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the RFS volume at 18.11 billion gallons, including 3.61 billion gallons of advanced biofuels. The RFA and the NCGA spoke out against the standard, stating it would create uncertainty in the marketplace and have a negative impact on the national economy.
“We applaud his pro-farmer stance on the renewable fuel standard, on reducing the burden of regulations like the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, on investing in our nation’s supply chain infrastructure, and on protecting farm and food programs in the farm bill,” Moore said. “We look forward to taking an active and cooperative role as the Trump administration works on these critical issues.”
Based on a pre-elect discussion with Trump’s camp the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) said the president-elect plans to address regulations.
“AFIA asks the president-elect to hold true to his campaign promise and make addressing strict regulatory burdens a priority of this new administration,” said Joel G. Newman, president of the AFIA. “We plan to be active in these discussions where appropriate for the animal food industry.”